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Ken Bartholomew Discusses Recent N.H. Supreme Court Order
Ken Bartholomew Discusses Recent N.H. Supreme Court Order

On behalf of the New Hampshire Medical Society and the New Hampshire Society of Anesthesiologists, Rath, Young and Pignatelli’s Healthcare Law Group is proud to have secured the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s affirmation of the New Hampshire Board of Medicine’s decision that health care professionals using the term “anesthesiologist” in their titles must be licensed physicians and meet all of the requirements to practice medicine in the state. We are proud to have been able to carry this important issue to a successful conclusion on behalf of the anesthesiologists in New Hampshire, which has positive implications for all physicians, in New Hampshire and nationally.

As noted by the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ President, Beverly K. Philip, M.D., FACA, FASA:

“This is a big win for patients. Every patient deserves to be certain about exactly who is performing and responsible for their anesthesia care during a procedure or surgery. It is vital that all health care providers use only the titles that correctly align with their license, education and training. Since the word was first coined, the term ‘anesthesiologist’ has referred to physicians, specifically to differentiate them from nurse anesthetists. As a result, using the word as part of a nursing title only confuses patients. It is well understood and professional health care organizations agree – anesthesiology is the practice of medicine.”

In its Order affirming the Board of Medicine’s decision, the New Hampshire Supreme Court noted, “The record before the Board of Medicine included, among other things, studies, surveys, and licensure requirements highlighting similarities and differences between CRNAs and physician anesthesiologists and the public’s understanding of that distinction. It is evident that those materials formed the foundation for the Board of Medicine’s conclusion that anesthesiology is a subset of the practice of medicine and professionals who refer to themselves as ‘anesthesiologists’ must hold a license to practice medicine.”

The New Hampshire Medical Society’s statement regarding the Supreme Court Order can be found here: NH Medical and Anesthesiologist Societies Applaud NH Supreme Court’s Decision to Ban the Misuse of Physician Titles

The chairperson of the Healthcare Law Group, Ken Bartholomew, argued the case before the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which issued its Order affirming the decision by the Board of Medicine on March 9, 2021.

For more information about this issue or the decision, or to inquire about Rath, Young and Pignatelli’s healthcare law group, please contact Ken at kcb@rathlaw.com.

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